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Need Opinions - PCI or USB Capture?

Old 02-14-2005, 10:19 PM
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Crash Master
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Default Need Opinions - PCI or USB Capture?

I am having to upgrade from my USB Dazzle Digital Video Creator, which is the only capture device I have ever owned in my short stint as a video producer, and would like some input as to where a USB capture device or PCI card is faster and/or provides better quality?

Any opinions?

Thanks
Old 02-14-2005, 11:16 PM
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J_R
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Default RE: Need Opinions - PCI or USB Capture?

See if the manuals for both are online. If they are, take a look at the things necessary to improve performance. I recently upgraded and was asking myself the same question. I wound up with a Hauppauge PV250 TV capture card instead of their USB card. It has a hardware mpeg encoder on the card, regardless of whether USB or PCI. The manual for the USB card made a point of disconnecting from the internet, and several other steps necessary to insure smooth capture. Since I had a PCI slot available, that made the decision for me. The PCI card did not require the same amount of concern in the manual.

Bottom line is the PCI card plugs into the motherboard, thus bypassing the bottleneck caused by the USB controller.
Old 02-16-2005, 07:48 AM
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Default RE: Need Opinions - PCI or USB Capture?

You didn't say but is there a reason that you're only considering a USB connection? What's your video source? Are you trying to capture and digitize analog video sources? Because a firewire input is superior to any type of USB connection.
Old 02-16-2005, 08:51 AM
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Default RE: Need Opinions - PCI or USB Capture?

Sorry. Input and/or source will be analog - camcorder and/or VCR to put old home movies onto DVD. I have doen some looking at both and it seems that USB is about the only way to get the analog inputs on a fairly consistant basis. Not too many PCI boards offering analog inputs.

Thanks,
Old 02-16-2005, 10:11 AM
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J_R
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Default RE: Need Opinions - PCI or USB Capture?

All TV cards are also capture cards and have analog inputs. Some have both RF and composite video inupts as well as audio inuputs. Some of the top line ones have S-video inputs and TV out. You get the added benefit of being able to use your computer as a PVR as well as a capture card. Some of them have a hardware encoder that allows the computer's processer to do less of the work. Some are packaged with several codecs allowing different capture quality. You can capture not only video, but audio from old LPs and cassette tapes.

In any case, if you have an open PCI slot, it's faster than USB.

Being able to hook the analog cam directly to the card, rather than through a VCR gives better quality capture. The quality of your VCR makes a huge difference in converting. The key is the number of scan lines, which is hard to find information.

On the other hand, if you have only one open PCI slot, and do not yet have a digital video cam, you may want to save the PCI slot for a firewire card when you do get one.

PC Magazine is known for unbiased information. You may want to visit them at www.pcmag.com
If you run a search on "analog to digital" there is a lot of information available.

Here is another site that deals with getting large amounts of video onto a dvd. Check out "basics" and "guides", in particular. http://www.doom9.org/index.html?/mpg...ink31-main.htm
Old 02-24-2005, 08:06 PM
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Default RE: Need Opinions - PCI or USB Capture?

I wouldn't recommend using a video capture device that uses USB if you plan on transferring the video to DVD. USB 1.1 doesn't have the bandwidth to capture video at the quality that you would need to produce a good quality DVD. USB 2.0 might do it but I haven't tried any video with a USB 2.0 device.

If you have a firewire port on your computer you could look at the Dazzle's Hollywood DV-Bridge. It allows you to connect an analog source to your firewire port. You will be able to capture good quality video from your VCR or camcorder.
Old 03-29-2005, 12:24 AM
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Default RE: Need Opinions - PCI or USB Capture?

I advise against both, unless you are looking at a high end PCI board such as a Matrox RT, etc.

Your best bet is to go along the firewire route. This means getting an external device that converts your analog footage into a digital stream which is carried over a standard Firewire interface. This lets you use and capture your footage not from a specific standalone application but in your normal video editing environment with the same compression settings and no fears of further rendering required. You will get the best image quality this way and in the least amount of time and headache.

Many companies make products that fit into this category but not all are worth their price. Look for those made by Canopus, Formac, Sony, Miglia, Miranda or for a cheaper alternative the Dazzle Hollywood DV Bridge.

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